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Steel makers compete for Olympics
( 2003-08-15 09:05) (China Daily)

China's steel manufacturers are expecting to share in Beijing's building boom arising from the 2008 Olympic Games.

Fourteen domestic companies are promoting their products in the capital today and tomorrow at an event organized by the China Iron and Steel Association (CISA).

According to the organizer, the event aims to strengthen exchanges between steel makers and construction companies related to the Beijing Olympic Games, establishing long-term co-operative relationships between them.

"Domestic steel products can meet the demands of construction for the Olympic Games, in terms of both quality and quantity,'' said the CISA's Deputy President Luo Bingsheng at a press conference yesterday.

He believes domestic steel companies, after years of development, are capable of providing at least 90 per cent of building steel materials needed in Olympic projects.

Luo's association, on behalf of the domestic steel industry, has applied to the Beijing Organizing Committee for the Games of the XXIX Olympiad to be the Games' raw materials supplier, as work on major stadiums and infrastructure projects begins this year.

However, while Chinese steel manufacturers are exploring the Olympics' business opportunities, foreign companies are also eager to enter the huge market.

It has been estimated that more than 3 million tons of steel will be needed for the 280 billion yuan (US$33.8 billion) worth of Olympic construction projects and the 100 billion yuan (US$12 billion) worth of infrastructure projects.

Australia-based BHP Steel, the major materials supplier for Sydney Olympic Stadium, set up in March a production base in Langfang, in North China's Hebei Province, only 50 kilometres from Beijing.

And nearly 100 foreign firms attended January's expo on sports infrastructure and stadium technology.

But Luo said: "We are unafraid of the competition. China's steel industry needs to further improve itself through competition.''

Wang Lichen, deputy director of the Beijing Construction Committee, said local products have advantages in technology and production costs, but they lack some special product lines and do not market themselves as well.

At the two-day promotion, leading domestic steel makers including Baoshan Iron and Steel Company, Shougang Group, and Anshan Iron and Steel Group Corp will showcase their products and recent developments to representatives from the General Administration of Sport, the Beijing Construction Committee, and owners, designers and builders of the Olympic projects.

Beijing authorities will also introduce 60 key Olympic projects, outline their requirements for steel products and rules governing the bidding process for construction materials.

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